Decision Making Model in Five Steps

This decision making model in five steps is a general but very effective pattern for making decisions and solving problems. Other methods found under Decision Making Models

are specifically for evaluating the alternatives. These five steps fits all the parts of making a decision together. If the five steps are followed exactly, you are almost guaranteed a good decision.

The important thing with any model, is that it will give you a structured discipline. This discipline will help prevent you from getting sidetracked on some unimportant part of the steps leading to a decision. Your goal is a good decision, nothing else.

Decisions

A wise man makes his own decisions, an ignorant man follows public opinion. Chinese Adage.

Emotional Decision Making

Emotional decision-making is not recommended. Making a decision based on emotion is less likely to be a good decision.

This bias can be eliminated by using the following techniques:

- Use a problem-solving technique, to make decisions based on logic and not on emotion.

- Separate your feelings from the facts.

- Focus on the facts of the situation and what is most relevant to you.

- Ask yourself if you discovered all other options to solve this problem and what they are.

- Consider what will happen if you don't make this decision now, but instead put it off for later.

Emotional decision-making is not always a bad thing. It can lead to more creativity. It can also lead to overspending or buying something that does not make business sense. Logical decisions are the pathway to better decisions. Emotional decisions lead to decisions that you will later regret.


Clarity of Thought

This Decision Making Model in Five Steps

This decision-making model in five steps is a general but very effective pattern for making decisions and solving problems. Other methods found under Decision Making Models are specifically for evaluating the alternatives. These five steps fit all the parts of making a decision together. If the five steps are followed exactly, you are almost guaranteed a good decision.

The important thing with any model is that it will give you a structured discipline. This discipline will help prevent you from getting sidetracked on some unimportant part of the steps leading to a decision. Your goal is a good decision, nothing else.

Applying The Decision Making Model In Five Steps

  1. State The Problem - The first and arguably the most important step in the decision-making model in five steps is to identify the problem. Until you have a clear understanding of the problem or decision to be made, it is meaningless to proceed. If the problem is stated incorrectly or unclearly then your decisions will be wrong.
  2. Identify Alternatives - Sometimes your only alternatives are to do it or don't do it. Most of the time you will have several feasible alternatives. It is worth doing research to ensure you have as many good alternatives as possible.
  3. Evaluate The Alternatives - This is where the analysis begins. You must have some logical approach to rank the alternatives. Two such logical approaches are discussed at Example Of A Decision Matrix and at Sample SWOT Analysis. It is important to realize that these analysis methods are only one of the five steps in the decision-making model.
  4. Make A Decision - You have evaluated your alternatives. Two or more of your high ranked alternatives may be very close in the evaluations. You should eliminate all of the alternatives that were low ranked. Now it is time to go back and examine the inputs you made to evaluation criteria for the close high-ranked alternatives. Do you still feel comfortable with the inputs you made? When you have made any changes it is time for some subjection. You have eliminated the alternatives that do not make logical sense. Now it is time to let your subconscious work. Review all the details of the remaining high ranked close alternatives, so they are completely clear in your mind. Completely leave the project alone for a few days. When you return to the project, the decision will likely be very clear in your head. This only works if you have done your homework!
  5. Implement Your Decision - A decision has no value unless you implement it. If you are not good with implementation, then find someone that is. Part of the implementation phase is the follow-up. The follow up ensures that the implementation sticks.

Summary

This decision-making model in five steps is a logically structured methodology, for making a decision. It will help one prevent emotions to control the decision-making process. The discipline that it provides, will guide the goal of good decision-making.